June 2014 Newsletter

Home News & Events Latest News June 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to this month’s Transition happenings in Bath…

Film: The Dash for Gas – Sat 14th June, 2pm

Come and find out what ‘fracking’ would mean for Bath. This is particularly relevant given the Infrastructure Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.
We’ll be showing Marco Jackson’s film “The Truth Behind The Dash for Gas” at the Friends Meeting House, York Street, Bath, BA1 1NG [map], on Saturday 14th June, at 2pm – with time for discussion afterwards. Suggested donation £5.
There’ll be a chance to meet others over tea and cake, and catch up with what Transition Bath has been doing.

Summer Social – Friday 27th June, 6.30pm

We’re getting together for a summer’s evening in the idyllic setting of our community nuttery at Smallcombe on Friday 27th June. We spend a lot of time on our various projects but rarely get the chance to relax and chat with each other, let alone WITH YOU!
So please come and join us. The evening will start at 6.30 pm, and the idea is that everyone brings some food and drink to share. We can stay until dusk and if it gets cool we can light a camp fire.
The nuttery can only be reached on foot, as the access road (from Horseshoe Walk) is privately owned. It’s on the Skyline Walk, and only five minutes’ walk from the canal. Here’s a map.
If it’s pouring with rain it’ll be postponed but hopefully it’ll be a nice warm evening. If in any doubt, call 07867532512 or check our website or Facebook page.

Transition Bath responds to the council’s Fit for Life Strategy consultation

Transition Bath’s Transport Group have responded to B&NES council’s ‘Fit for Life’ consultation.

The response praises the council for encouraging us to exercise but points out that it doesn’t mention that exercise can be combined with commuting to work or to school by walking or cycling. We feel that the Strategy could place more emphasis on walking and cycling as both a form of exercise and transport. In particular children should be encouraged to walk or cycle to school – providing them with a life skill. To learn more visit our website.

Last Call for Home Openers!
We’ve had a great response for Bath Green Homes Open Homes Weekend this year – with home owners across the city coming forward to share everything from simple, low cost improvements to homes through to architect designed new builds. However, we still have a few places left!
Do you have low energy features in your home that you’d be willing to share with others? Taking part is fun and rewarding, and our team provides full support. You’ll need to be free on 27th and 28th September.
Our final call for registering has been extended to Monday 16th June. This is followed by a
no-obligation home visit from our team. To register your interest, or to find out more, simply either fill in our online survey, or contact us on admin@bathgreenhomes.co.uk or 01225 477528.
Bath Green Homes is a community project supported by Transition Bath, Bath & North East Somerset Council & Bath Preservation Trust.

Transition Bath’s Treasurer starts sustainable mushroom business at Green Park Station

Hugh, our treasurer, has recently started a new business, Fungi Fruits. He’s using coffee grounds collected from local coffee shops to grow mushrooms in the arches under Green Park Station. He plans to sell them ‘above ground’ at the Saturday Farmers Market*, and to local restaurants. A prime example of a sustainable business, producing food with minimum food miles!
Since raising funds by crowd funding in March, Hugh has been installing various bits of kit, e.g. scaffolding to hang the bags of coffee, and a clean room to create a sterile environment in which to mix the mushroom spawn with the coffee. He’ll soon be looking for trainee mushroom growers to help expand the project. More information about the business and the process is available on his website.
* Look out for Hugh’s mushrooms at the Farmers Market in July.

Housing Standards and our petition to Don Foster

Thank you to the 187 of you who signed the petition asking Don Foster to support higher housing standards. Since the petition we have written to both Don Foster and the council. Don responded quickly but was non-committal over his support, we have not had a response from the council. Since then, unexpectedly in the Queens Speech the government has announced its proposals for future ‘Zero Carbon Housing’ regulation. As a result we have approached the 4 MPs supporting the amendment to the Deregulation Bill to ask them to change its wording to be consistent with the ‘Zero Carbon Housing’ proposals. The council will be debating the Planning Inspectors report on its Core Strategy on July 10th – which is likely to remove the council’s Code for Sustainable Homes requirements.
More detail on the results of the petition, including copies of the emails we have written on your behalf are provided on our website here. We have also attempted to assess the impact of housing standards on energy bills and carbon emissions here.
We will continue to fight on your behalf for the highest possible future housing standards in Bath.

Transition Bath provides draught-proofing at the Building of Bath Collection

Following a thermal imaging survey in the February of the Building of Bath Museum, Transition Bath spent a day at the museum in May fitting low cost draught-proofing measures to a number of doors. There is further work to do, but many thanks to Bill, Jan, Jon and Paul who have been involved in the project. More information is available here.

Energy Efficient Widcombe completes its first year of thermal imaging

Energy Efficient Widcombe
were involved in this year’s Transition Bath Thermal Imaging Project and completed 15 surveys. They have just completed their write-up of their experience with thermal imaging, a copy of their report is available in our website, along with example images. Overall, home owners were very positive about the experience and found the results very helpful in identifying opportunities to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable.Look out for a fuller write-up of this year’s project in our next newsletter.

Other ‘energy’ news

  • Free cavity wall and loft insulation with no eligibility criteria: Although we don’t endorse British Gas they are currently offering free cavity wall and loft insulation, unusually without any means testing or eligibility criteria and you don’t need to be a customer either. If you are interested contact them here but the deadline is June 30th – the offer is worth up to £700.
  • Green Deal Self-Assessment: In last month’s newsletter we mentioned that the government had become more generous with its Green Deal grants for a range of measures. As part of this program it has launched a Green Deal pre-application tool which takes you through a series of questions and produces an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) like report giving you an idea savings you could make. It’s quite an interesting exercise to try it, you don’t have to provide contact details.
  • All EPCs now available online for download: And a remember, all Energy Performance Certificates are now available for download online – if you have lost yours or want to compare your home with a similar property.
  • Planning permission granted for green energy plant in Keynsham: It was announced this week that planning permission has been given for an anaerobic digestion plant in Keynsham, It will have the capacity to heat half of Keynsham’s homes and also produce fertiliser for local farms. A Bath Chronicle article contains more information.
  • Transition Bath objects to planning application for 180 homes on the ex-MOD site at Ensleigh: Although we recognise the need to build homes in Bath, we have objected to the detail of the planning application by Linden and Bloor homes at Ensleigh North. We feel the planning submission has many shortcomings, including minimum energy standard homes, almost no allocation for allotments, no school, shortage of homes suitable for disabled people and we feel they could improve their transport strategy. More information is available here.
  • Bristol Big Green Week: Running between Saturday 14th June and Saturday 22nd June, there are 150 green related events in Bristol. Whether you’re interested in energy, food or transport, there is something for everyone – more information is available here.

and a bit of fun down on the allotment!

For the last couple of years, Mikron travelling theatre company have brought a show to Bloomfield Road allotments, and have built up a loyal local audience. In this year’s show, Til the Cows Come Home, Harvey Granelli (who has appeared in previous shows as the allotment officer), having followed his miserable mother into local government, realises that he has more in common with his Italian father, part-time playboy and one-time ice-cream maker, Romeo. Inspired by a dream of his long dead dad, Harvey finally finds the courage to follow his heart. But when he whips up a gelato from Papa Granelli’s recipe book it just doesn’t taste the same ….
Bring a chair or rug, and a picnic if you like, along to Bloomfield Road allotments (BA2 2AB) on Saturday 2nd August. Gate ‘opens’ at 1pm, and the show starts at 3pm. No tickets required but the cast ‘pass the hat round’ at the end of the show. Tea and cakes will be available. Organised by B&NES Allotments Association.

Please contact group convenors if you’d like to get involved, plan an event or start a project: